One of the many questions troubling those of us concerned about
vaccine safety and their use is just exactly where that which is
injected (or ingested or inhaled) goes after it enters the body.
Unfortunately this question doesn't even seem to enter the radar screen
of many who promote vaccination.
It seems to be taken as an article of faith that lack of resolution
via a rash is inconsequential. Yet there is evidence to the
contrary. For instance,
Rønne reported in
The Lancet that those who get measles without rash experience
considerably more serious disease in adulthood than do those who get
measles with rash.
Nor is concern generally shown for the fact that the ordinary
systemic mechanisms for ridding the body of disease, like fever, do not
necessarily come into play when vaccines induce their so-called
So it should come as no surprise, I suppose, that even when the
question does come on the radar screen, the discussion is less than
adequate. Take, for example, The Lancet's November 2002
article by the financially conflicted
and his colleagues entitled, "Mercury
concentrations and metabolism in infants receiving vaccines containing
mercury: a descriptive study". The "study" alleged to measure what
happens to one of the many substances which are put into the body via
vaccines. But it turned out to be yet another fluff piece
designed to vindicate a vaccine (or an additive), rather than to
seriously examine the issue.
In the study, it was concluded that "Administration of vaccines
containing thiomersal (thimerosal) does not seem to raise blood
concentrations of mercury above safe values in infants. Ethylmercury
seems to be eliminated from blood rapidly via the stools after
parenteral administration of thiomersal (thimerosal) in vaccines."
Given that there is no known
safe amount of ethylmercury, the form of mercury in thimerosal,
their starting assumption that there is a safe level of mercury in
vaccines is unjustified and irresponsible.
Furthermore, this study does not provide convincing evidence that
mercury is rapidly eliminated. Among the reasons why are the
The authors merely averaged, from a range of doses, what
each infant theoretically received when they reported: "Mean mercury
doses in infants exposed to thiomersal (thimerosal) were 45.6 microg
(range 37.5-62.5) for 2-month-olds and 111.3 microg (range 87.5-175.0)
They averaged fecal output as well: "Concentrations of mercury
were low in urine after vaccination but were high in stools of
thiomersal-exposed 2-month-olds (mean 82 ng/g dry weight) and in
6-month-olds (mean 58 ng/g dry weight)."
However, average input and average output have nothing to do with
what has happened to a particular child. Moreover, using statistics
about average children to draw conclusions about individual children is
misuse of statistics.
Assuming exposure to only one source of mercury, i.e., the
in vaccines, the only way to know whether or not 100% of the
has been excreted is to measure the amount of mercury contained in the
syringe used for each infant (as opposed to a theoretical amount,
assuming equal distribution per vial and/or syringe), and compare
to what comes out. Precise identification of the actual amount
injected into each individual child, combined with a comparison to the
actual amount eliminated, did not occur in this study. Thus no
conclusions, other than that some portion appears to be evacuated, are
Unfortunately, however, one cannot assume exposure to only one
source of ethylmercury, particularly given the many potential
of it. And unless all sources are accounted for, output cannot be
accurately compared to input.
Further complicating the situation is
the fact that ethylmercury is "eventually
metabolized into inorganic mercury". If it is
also true that "adult
marine mammals can mineralize methylmercury into inorganic mercury",
and fetuses and newborns might be exposed to "inorganic
mercury (originating from dental amalgam) during fetal life and via
breast milk (up to 3 months)", it means that more than one form of mercury
exposure can result in inorganic mercury in the stools, including that
derived from vaccines. It also means that the total potential for
exposure is considerable.
All mercury exposure with the potential
to be excreted as inorganic mercury needs to be factored in if the goal
is understand the amount of mercury which remains in the body. ; No such effort was
made in this study.
The study authors also framed the discussion in terms of micrograms
going in and nanograms coming out. How exactly, though, do
"nanograms per gram of dry weight" evacuated via the stools, with each
nanogram equaling 1/1000th
of a microgram, translate into micrograms which have been
directly injected? Given how miniscule a nanogram is compared to
a microgram, it sounds as if very little may actually have been
Because of the political import being assigned this study, it also
bears pointing out that the sample size was but a mere 40 infants
receiving vaccines containing thimerosal. No one is suggesting, though,
that 1 in 40 children are autistic. Chances are there was not
even one child included in this study who went on to develop
autism. Thus this study is not relevant to whether or not mercury
might be related to autism.
Might it not be precisely those specific infants (as opposed to
the average or "mean" infant) who do not eliminate all the mercury they
receive who are at risk for autism? After all, it is specific
infants, not average ones, who get autism. If so, what could this
"study", which only looked at 40 infants, possibly have to do with the
out of 250 or so with autism?
If the amount that went in cannot be entirely accounted for,
where did it go? Given that, as they noted in the article,
"organic mercury readily crosses the blood-brain barrier"
(thimerosal being an organic form of mercury), might it not have gone
to the brain, where it would be expected to cause just the kinds of
problems we are seeing with
Unless the amount of mercury going in and out of each individual
child is measured precisely, absolutely nothing will be learned about
the amount retained in a given child and any conclusions drawn
unsupported by the evidence. Why would The Lancet publish an
article which is so poorly designed, misleading, and clearly lacking in
logic and depth of analysis? Isn't it more like propaganda than
When will the mainstream press begin to act more responsibly,
thoughtfully and professionally? When will they stop
accepting "studies" like this more or less at face value and giving
little more than "lip service" to opposing viewpoints?
"Eternal vigilance is
the price of liberty." - Wendell Phillips (1811-1884), paraphrasing
John Philpot Curran (1808)